TAEKWONDO: The Bai Rui Laidley Taekwondo club kicked well and truly above their weight in 2017.
They took 16 competitors to the Bai Rui nationals and came home with a dozen medals and won another five from the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) nationals.
One club member, Catherine Ovenden, won a number of medals at national and state championships across the year and was named as the Bai Rui Australia student of the year.
Now the club is stepping up preparations to compete at the 2018 ITF World Cup in Sydney in September.
Club instructor Darren Finch, who has been practising the martial art for 12 years and risen to the rank of a second degree black belt, said Laidley competitors will be gunning to get in the best possible shape for the event.
"The lead up to it is very intense, basically we've already stated training this year, it will involve travelling to Brisbane every Saturday (on top of regular sessions twice a week) and training as a squad,” Finch said.
The club has around 30 members ranging from six years of age to 53, with most of them related to another competitor in the class.
"It's a family environment... just about everybody in the class has got a sibling and a parent training,” he said.
"I'm big on when we go to competitions.
"We actually car pool, we drive down all together, we sit together, when you're competing everyone cheers you on.”